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"To develop art education and enhance the appreciation of classical ballet and other dance genres for youth of diverse backgrounds through structured classes, use of creative expression, discipline and performance exposure opportunities.
Dance is a joyous celebration of life. Dance is mastery of the human body. Dance is a path of personal growth.
These are some of the guiding principals of Ballet On Wheels Dance School (BOW)-- Memphis ’ only non-profit, pre-professional, community-based classical ballet school and dance company. Student learn the fundamentals of dance while developing qualities that make for a successful and happy life: self-discipline, perseverance, creativity, and more.
In 2002, Ballet On Wheels (BOW) was birthed six months after the untimely death of the Artistic Director’s mentor, Carlton Lee Johnson. Johnson’s dance legacy, inspiration and true commitment to quality instruction and performance flair is very much alive in the organizations current dance culture.
Perhaps our mission statement best sums up our goal: to develop and define art education and appreciation of classical ballet and other dance genres, through self discipline, creative expression and performance exposure, in young people of diverse backgrounds.
Professional teachers provide instruction to our diverse student body in the art form and theory of classical ballet, creative movement, pointe, modern, adult ballet, and hip hop dance genres. Classes run eleven months out of the year and more advanced students can participate in master class dance intensives and audition or be selected for our acclaimed, Ballet On Wheels Theatre of Dance, a pre-professional youth dance company.
BOW sponsors annual innovative dance projects and community service dance events throughout the city. We also take our name literally, teaching classes in numerous Memphis City Schools and local youth organizations. Community service also figures prominently in the school’s curriculum. We believe in developing all sides of students’ lives, and helping the less fortunate is one way to instill gratitude and appreciation for the blessings we have.
Most important, though, we make learning ballet fun, and celebrate the art of dance in its many forms.
Governed by a professional board, Ballet On Wheels is a member of the National Dance Association, Tennessee Association of Dance and is an affiliate member of Arts Memphis.
- Stephanie Hill
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